What is the difference between:

The objective of the project is to develop a framework


The objective of the project is developing a framework

Is any of them incorrect?

  • 1
    Both are correct.
    – Cerberus
    Aug 18, 2021 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


We use to+infitive to show the purpose of an action.

An objective is an aim, or purpose, so it is correct to say "the objective is to develop a framework" ('develop' being the infinitive form of the verb).

The objective of the project is to develop a framework

Your alternate example with "...is developing" is not strictly correct. Remember that you are talking about the objective of the project, not the project itself. The objective will not be developing anything. You might say that "the project team is developing a framework" because that is who is actually carrying out the action. However, it seems some people do use it.

Another alternative way to express this that is grammatically acceptable and uses the present participle is to use it with the definite article:

The objective of the project is the developing of a framework.


  • Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to face your fate. (Mission Impossible)
  • Her main/prime objective now is simply to stay in power. (Cambridge dictionary example for 'objective')
  • The objective is to find a business valued at £5-30M with strong profit potential. (London Stock Exchange website)
  • The NPC's main objective is to promote the welfare and interests of all pensioners. (NPCUK charity website)
  • Our primary objective is the development of novel stem cell therapies. (Reneron website)
  • 1
    1. "These tactics to me point to a machine that not only knows Iraqi society and when and where to strike, but to people who have a political objective - and part and parcel of their objective is stopping development work." 2. "Our secondary objective is finding out what happened to this ship and its crew. " Aug 18, 2021 at 2:11
  • 1
    This one from USA Today (2003): "When Congress in 1974 enacted the law that governs real estate closings, a key objective was outlawing then-common kickbacks: lavish gifts and cash from lenders, title insurers, settlement agents, home inspectors and other industry players to real estate agents in return for delivering clients." Aug 18, 2021 at 2:19
  • My finding is that when "objective" is preceded by a genitive pronoun like "our/my objective" you can use "verb+ing", still rare. But "the objective" as it is is almost never used with "verb+ing", except in conversation, that too rarely. On the other hand there is no problem with vwrb + ing when "objective" is preceded by a modifier like "primarily/secondary objective". Aug 18, 2021 at 2:37
  • @Man_From_India Sounds like you're discovering what English speakers already know - not all native speakers use their language correctly. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to research quotations that support my answer. :)
    – Astralbee
    Aug 18, 2021 at 8:35
  • 1
    @Astralbee, such a wonderful answer! I totally get it now, thanks a lot. (PS: The quotations are just fantastic.) Aug 18, 2021 at 22:21

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